A Closer Look at Words and How They Affect Your Daily Life by Susanna Spies

I have many nicknames, Sus, Zanna’, Suzer, and Susie. Only students call me Susie. Somehow it’s more endearing coming from them than anyone else. I also have been called “Dude” on a date. (Non-stop by the same dude.) And I’ve been called “Sister” on another. (Note to the dating wizards: Watch The Notebook if you need some inspiration.)

One nickname that I have deemed myself is Susanna “We’ll See” Spies.

It’s a nice way of being non-committal about an expectation that may or may not be met and a comforting way not to be disappointed if things don’t turn out the way I hope for. And although I can hike up life mountain a little more comfortably in the land of “We’ll See”, I stay far from the “Island of Should”. Have you been there? I have been directed there many times. It’s before you get to the “Fields of For Sure”, a few miles down from “Wonder If Road.”

As we go back to school, get settled into our routines, and focus on the year ahead, there are some helpful guides and words along the way to help in accomplishing your goals.

Certain words are triggers that can be emotionally charged. Let’s face it, there are heinous words (even that word itself is so perfect because it sounds like it’s definition), that can be humorous when saying out of context, but also really drive the point when in context. For example, using the word “projecting” – referencing something foreseeable or a way to use your own voice in choir vs. the word “projectile” – something we do to get something out, or rather ALL things out of our own system.

Words can mean so many different things, and words can cause blocks vs. flow within your own psyche.

One example I always think of is when I get nervous before performing my comedy. I used to pace around, practicing my set, biting my nails, or jogging in place in the green room. The words “I’m so nervous!” really didn’t do anything but encourage my nerves to do hurdles and continually run around the anxious track.

But then I tried an experiment. Instead of saying “I’m so nervous!”… I changed the words to “I’m so excited!” and voila! It completely shifted a frozen state to a fluid one with more enthusiasm, strength, and power to deliver.

The same is true for every day.

Let’s try an experiment. For those that live where it can be brutally cold, try the following experiment. (And if you live where the climate is always hot, go to the nearest frozen pizza section at your local supermarket and open up the freezer doors.)

Say the words, “It’s so cold!” What happens? Pay attention to your body. Does it tense up? Does it remain limber? Does it propel you forward or do you want to curl up and generate heat and stay stiff in a small little ball shape? What happens if you shiver? Does it make you feel more or less relaxed? Is there a way to breathe through the shivering to get past it? I’ll bet there may be!

Here are 5 words to use that will propel you forward to achieve and accomplish your goals:

1. CAN
3. BE
5. YES

And remember, saying “No” as I mentioned in last month’s article, No is the New Know, can be empowering if used correctly in order to establish your boundaries.

Focus on words that enable movement and belief in yourself and as the famous Nike slogan says, “JUST DO IT.”

© 2014 Daniel Scherl

About the Author: Susanna SPIES is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a seasoned educator and Founder and President of Comedy Playground, LLC, showcasing at The Hollywood Improv located in California. With a performance background, Spies has worked within mediums of television and film, and has performed stand up comedy on stages throughout the nation. Known for her many “faces”, in 2013 she debuted over 30 characters in her one-woman show “The Dryer” and was featured on Nuvo TV’s Stand & Deliver, E-One Entertainment’s Uncontrolled Comedy, and the Youtube sensation “Carol” of “Carol & Claire in The Angela Hoover web series, as well as dozens of national commercials, and Independent Feature Films. Read More… 

Subscribe to The Teen Mentor and receive more awesome articles like this straight to your inbox.